2018 was a transformational year for Minor International, as we made our way to become a truly global player.
Dear Fellow Stakeholders
2018 was a milestone year for Minor International. Minor Group celebrated the 50-year anniversary, which not only afforded us the occasion to reflect upon and celebrate our past successes, but also inspired us to look ahead to the next exciting challenges and growth opportunities for Minor International going forward.
2018 was also a transformational year for Minor International, as we made further strategic investments to become a truly global player with the strength and resources to compete on the world stage. This major step of expansion, the 2018 acquisition of NH Hotel Group, the sixth largest hotel chain in Europe, and Benihana, the world’s leading Japanese-inspired teppanyaki restaurant chain, coupled with Minor International’s footprint over the years, have cemented our status as a leading global multinational, with operations spanning Australia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East through to Europe and the Americas.
Looking to the future, I am often asked what I envision Minor International 10 or 20 years from now. My answer is that Minor International may still not be the largest hotel company with the largest number of hotel rooms, restaurants or points of sale, but we will remain one of the smartest and most pragmatic companies in the market - a company that is nimble, spots and capitalizes upon opportunities and moves faster than our competitors, with an unrelenting focus on delivering value to our stakeholders. Our continued focus on Minor International’s key competitive strengths, together with our growing business platform, will translate into a company with higher profitability generating stronger returns for our shareholders.
Now with an operating platform spanning 62 countries (and growing), Minor International must be agile, flexible and open to change in order to fulfill our aspiration to continue to outperform our competitors in this ever-changing environment. We fully appreciate that what has worked for us in the past will not work going forward. We must remain a “learning organization” that continuously evolves as the marketplace and consumer dynamics shift. This concept is so fundamental to our success that we have modified our corporate vision statement to reflect today’s dynamic business environment and competitive landscape. Recognizing that customers focus less on products and services than they have in the past and more on unique and memorable experiences, our new vision is “to be a leader in delivering exceptional experiences that anticipate and satisfy customers’ aspirations and positively impact stakeholders”. This important modification of our vision statement has been embraced throughout our business and led to adjustments to our five-year plan.
While Minor International’s new five-year plan continues to be underpinned by financial objectives, we have also added non-financial objectives to help shape our future growth trajectory. Financially, we target net profit’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 - 20% and a return on invested capital (ROIC) of 12% by 2023. Moreover, recognizing that human capital is the essential fundamental driver of our high-performance organization, we have an ambition to be the employer of choice. Sustainability has also become increasingly important to us, not only from the perspective of good corporate citizenship but also due to market, industry and consumer expectations. As it becomes an important driver of consumer decisions, we have explicitly embraced sustainable business as another one of our company objectives.
In order to achieve our company objectives, we maintain our existing drivers for success and add new ones. We will continue to focus on a winning brand portfolio, value capture & productivity and investments, partnerships & acquisitions. With the rapidly changing business environment, whether it is consumer behavior, technology, or competition, we are aware that we cannot only rely on our existing key success drivers. In order to emerge as a better company that remains a step ahead of our competitors, we must embrace change and adapt quickly. Technology is rapidly evolving in ways that touch every aspect of our customers’ lives, and new expectations are set every day. Therefore, in order to better connect with our customers, innovations and digital become a key driver that will impact our customer experience, our operations, processes and business models. Furthermore, empowered people & teams and sustainable framework are now key drivers for our future growth.
Looking back, 2018 was a year in which we laid the foundation for a new, more dynamic and more successful Minor International. In addition to new hotel openings and restaurant and lifestyle outlet expansion, over the course of the year we added important new brands into our portfolio, including NH Collection, NH Hotels and nhow for Minor Hotels, Benihana for Minor Food, and Bodum and Save My Bag for Minor Lifestyle. In 2018, Minor International reported core net profit of Baht 5,957 million, an increase of 10% from 2017. Operationally, Minor Hotels and Minor Lifestyle performed well, while Minor Food was impacted by the slowdown in domestic consumption in Thailand and other key markets. In addition, the acquisition of NH Hotel Group was accretive to Minor International with immediate profit contribution in 2018. Following the intense efforts of our team in 2018, we are fully confident of the strength of our resources throughout our businesses, be it our portfolio of brands, our platform of hotels, restaurants and lifestyle outlets, our variety of products across the hospitality, F&B and lifestyle spectrum, our people representing over 130 nationalities working in over 60 countries or our processes designed to deliver consistent operational excellence, while taking care of our planet for the sustainable future. These resources will drive even stronger performance, allowing us to achieve and exceed our vision for the future. We are immensely excited to take the company to the next level into 2019 and thereafter.
Beyond simply numbers, we are committed to ensuring that as Minor International grows, we continue to positively impact all of our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, business partners and the communities and environment around us. We look to grow our business in a sustainable manner and benchmark ourselves against the global standards. Our goal is not only to satisfy relevant benchmarks but to outperform them. Although we are still on our journey there, we are encouraged by the progress that we have made to date. The testaments are the awards received and our inclusion in many widely-accepted sustainability indices. I am proud to report that this year, Minor International received Best SET Sustainability Awards 2018 for the first time. In addition, we have been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index for the fifth consecutive year, the FTSE4Good Index Series for the third consecutive year and the list of Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) 2018 by the SET for the fourth consecutive year. In February 2019, Minor International was also included as a constituent in the MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes.
Throughout Minor International’s journey, we have built honest, resilient and mutuallybeneficial relationships with our stakeholders, whether they are our customers, employees, business partners or shareholders. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to each and every one of them for their respective contributions in helping to shape the Minor International of today. I am looking forward to an exciting year in 2019 with the start of Minor International’s new chapter to create more new success stories that will become a part of our company’s history. Finally, and most importantly, I look forward to creating even more shared successes with and for our stakeholders for many years to come.